It’s that time of year again, where the great writers here at ThePhinsider bring back their annual look at the Miami Dolphins’ roster heading into training camp. We call this series “90-in-90” and over the next 90 days (give or take a few) we will take a look at each individual player on the roster. We will take into account what they did throughout the 2016 season, whether in the NFL or college and take a look how they might fair in 2017. In addition, we will discuss how each player might progress, regress and their odds of making the 53-man roster. So let’s get started.
This offseason, Koa Misi restructured his contract so he could remain with the Miami Dolphins. They weren’t about to pay a struggling linebacker the kind of money he was due. After his restructure, Misi’s 2017 cap hit is far more reasonable weighing in at a manageable $1.215 million. The Dolphins hope he can remain healthy, adding depth to Matt Burke’s attacking defense.
Linebacker, Koa Misi
Last season, Misi started two of the first three games before suffering a season-ending injury. In those three games, he combined for 22 tackles. Over the course of his six-year career, Misi accumulated a total of 358 tackles, 12 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. Unfortunately, injuries have derailed the former second-round draft pick, making it difficult for him to ever reach his full potential.
In 2016, Misi suffered a neck injury that many believed could end his career. Now, with just several weeks to go before OTAs and other team activities, it now appears he is ready to compete for a roster spot this upcoming season. In the offseason, Miami added several key additions at linebacker, including Lawrence Timmons and Raekwon McMillan. Misi would be added insurance for a linebacking core that finished at the bottom of the league in 2016.
Why he might progress in 2017
Misi doesn’t have many more opportunities with the Miami Dolphins. A restructuring of his contract earlier in the offseason, gave the veteran linebacker a little more time to prove his worth. I’m not sure there’s much room for Misi to progress, as he’s done anything but over the last few years. At this point, Miami needs him to be healthy for the upcoming season. Linebacker was a position of need heading into 2017 and Misi would be nice depth on both the inside and outside of the team’s defense.
There’s also a very, very small chance he exceeds all expectations and looks more like the Misi we saw earlier in his career. Early on, he was a player who was never great in pass coverage but always made an impact in the run game. That’s the Koa Misi I remember, and wouldn’t mind having him on the 53-man roster this upcoming season.
Why he might regress in 2017
In today’s NFL, any kind of injury is hard to overcome. We see players all the time who are never the same after a life-changing injury. Misi is a fighter and as stated previously, will do whatever he can to keep his dream alive. However, that’s easier said than done and there’s a real possibility he’s back on IR sooner than later. If he’s on the active roster come September, it will likely be as a role player on special teams and added depth behind Miami’s starters.
Chances of making the 53-man roster
In my opinion, after Misi restructured his contract it was clear the Dolphins were interested in giving him a chance to compete. What it now comes down to, is whether or not he can stay healthy throughout training camp and OTAs. It is anyone’s guess as to how his neck will withstand contact, but to count Misi out would be foolish. It won’t be long until we see what Koa Misi has to offer, and whether or not he will begin the 2017 season on the Dolphins 53-man roster.